Are We Worn Out

by · June 8, 20128 comments

Now that we are a few years into this social media maze, I’m curious:

How is everyone feeling?

For me, my level of energy and interest came into question a few times last week. The incidents ran the gambit: From remember-the-good-ole-days when we all shared everything on Twitter, (now we don’t in fear of giving something away); to a couple blog posts I read that essentially yelled, “Uncle!” The authors say they’ve had enough and can’t keep up. Are we just worn out?

The problem gets worse for business owners. They’re dumb-fangled by the newest job titles floating around — social coordinator, community manager and such. Who are you firing or replacing in order to afford these new position? What are you going to stop doing in order to sustain Social? You can’t do it all.

Most of the angst is coming from small business folks who were way ahead of the social curve and were early adopters of the new tools and techniques, and the today-unemployed, tomorrow social media consultant set. We are far enough into the game and evolution of social marketing that it is beyond a single proprietor shop to be really effective for business, and those early adopters that were doing it all themselves truly are worn out.

Chris Penn touches on this topic a bit as well in his post titled “Is that Social Network a Ghost Town.” Part of the issue here is that not every social tool, platform and technique is adaptable or appropriate for every business:

Recently, a few folks have asked if (insert name here) social network is a ghost town. Let’s be clear to start: any place with more than a million people in it is by default not a ghost town. If Twitter/Facebook/Google+ had under a million people in it, then I think you could make the claim that it’s a ghost town in social network terms with reasonable credibility. But none of these networks could accurately be called that. Numerically, Twitter is around the 8th largest country in the world, Facebook the 3rd. Google+ is in the vicinity of 4th or 5th. Any place that sports more population than significantly-sized real world nations is not a ghost town.

 What’s at the heart of the claims that X social network is a ghost town is this: the network is not delivering the results you’re looking for. I made this claim for me about Google+, and it’s a claim I continue to stand by. For me, for how I use social networks, for the limited time and resources I have available per day to devote to any one network, Google+ simply does not deliver the same bottom-line results that other networks do because the way I use it doesn’t work well with the service.

Many of the early adaptors who jumped in on the social media wave are struggling to keep pace. Social Media has become a big business. With big business come defined results. The folks writing the checks have gained some social media savvy and started to evolve. They are past the fad stage. They are demanding certain business results, one of which is lower marketing costs.

Businesses also need to digest what they will stop doing as they dive deeper into social outreach. If new media, or whatever label you choose to attach to it really works, then you no longer need to do something else. Accurately assessing the Something Else will be a vital part of your social success and perhaps a great starting point to relieve the “fatigue.”

So are you just tired of social media marketing? Have you hit a wall? Ponder and ask yourself why. Then see if it’s because you’ve added work, but not removed other work to make this all happen. Assess from there and see if you can improve.

Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

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About Eric Brown

Eric Brown

Eric Brown's background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established The Urbane Way, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickv Nick Venturella

    I don’t know if it’s so much a matter of displacing one activity or set of activities for another as it is finding the right combination of strategies and tactics that are working for you/your organization, likely integrating some level of social.

    As a marketer steeped in blogging and social media, I’ll admit it can be dizzying to keep up with it all, but my own experiences resonate with those of Chris Penn:  some social networks seem to work better than others for particular people and businesses, and as you experiment you discover where your target audience resides and which network(s) fit into your modus operandi…finding that winning combination is where I think folks are beginning to pull back…they started by being everywhere, which allowed them to figure out what, in social media, works for them.  Now, they can start to focus in on the few that seem to really be worth their energy and get creative in how to integrate their marketing on and off-line given what’s been learned about the social consumer.

  • http://twitter.com/innovativeads1 Innovative Ads

    Keeping up with social media as part of any online marketing plan can be very difficult for small business owners. The ones that do it themselves I always recommend to them to choose 2-3 social media applications that they feel will be most effective to achieve their online marketing goals. They should then put their efforts into those only because if they try and concur every social media application they will not be giving any of them 100%. Additionally, it will be tough to come up with new content on a frequent basis for all of these platforms. For those that need help, they can check out innovativeadsolutions.com for some online marketing help. We offer a lot of free content with the goal of helping small biz be found online and develop better relationships with their customers. Those that don’t want to do it on their own can setup a risk free consultations with us where we can discuss the small biz, its current marketing, and whether they are candidates for our social media marketing campaign. Check us out, freeconsultation@innovativeadsolutions.com

  • http://www.mattsouthern.com Matt Southern

    I’m still loving social media as much as I ever was. I truly enjoy keeping up with it and learning the ins and outs of all the new social networks. But here’s the thing: I work with social media for a living, I’m a single guy and I have all the time in the world to feed my social media addiction. I’m definitely in the minority of people who use this stuff. I can imagine the average small business owner being completely overwhelmed. Even my friends tell me that they don’t want to join new social networks because Facebook and Twitter is enough for them. That’s why it’s necessary to have someone who’s entire job is to work with social media. There really is a lot to keep up with

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  • Rosemary

    I’m still enjoying it all too, but I’ve recently made a simple change that’s helped with the feeling of overwhelm.  I now have a rule that for every new blog I subscribe to, I have to unsubscribe from one. This has made me really think about the quality of the communities I’m following, and the information I’m absorbing on a daily basis.  (Obviously, this blog stays in the list :)

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  • Melonie Dodaro

    Social media can be too
    overwhelming at times.  The feeling that
    you have to be “all over the place” to get noticed and get the results that you
    want can wear out even the most dedicated hardworking guy.  I guess having a reality check from time to
    time can help to re-asses one’s strategies and re-align one’s online presence
    to one’s objectives.

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